Recommended Literature

There are few works of ancient Chinese military manuals that are available in English. Thanks to the hard work of of Jack Chen of Chinese Long Sword, the following works have been translated into English verse by verse with original illustrations, original Chinese text, and pinyin pronouciation of the Chinese characters.
  • Ancient Art of Chinese Long Saber: This book is a compiled list of techniques by the Ming Dynasty era martial artist Cheng Zhongyu of the long sabre, developed from Japanese kenjitsu to fight against Japanese pirates. Complete with illustrations and break down of techniques. Probably the earliest manual on fighting with the miao dao.
  • Sword Manual: A section on the two handed straight sword by Ming dynasty general, Mao Yuanyi, a scroll in the military manual, Wu Bei Zhi. One interesting note in this scroll, is that Mao states most of Chinese swordsmanship had been forgotten and to be relearned from the Koreans! The wording is poetic in nature and some of the move sets were not fully explained. This book is complete with translation in English, illustration, the original Chinese print, and pinyin on pronoucing the Chinese characters.
  • Sword Treatise: Despite the name, this treatise volume writtern by the famed Ming dynasty military General Yu Dayou, famed for fighting Japanese pirates and Mongols in the north, focus mainly on staff fighting. Staff fighting is the typical introductory weapon for beginners and its used as a gateway to understanding everything else, i.e. sword and spear. The manual also include a few verse and exercises on trident fighting, as the trident is often used as a counter for the staff. This treatise contains very few drawings, but has English translation, the Chinese original, and pronouciation of Chinese characters.